Fortunes Changing For Parmatown Mall
Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter will never forget his first day working in his City Hall office. Through the windows just behind his desk he can see Parmatown Mall, and on this first day came the announcement that Macy's department store was closing. Ten months later, DeGeeter still looks out those windows, but now he sees real opportunity for growth. News that Parmatown has been purchased by Phillips Edison & Co. has brought a surge of optimism to the area that also includes Byers Field, Parma Community General Hospital and this fall, a new Cuyahoga County Public Library. Every day, the first thing I see when I look out my office window, I see Parmatown Mall," DeGeeter said. "Until a deal was finalized, I saw an area that was a source of uncertainty for the city. Now, it's a view that brings with it a new vision of hope and energy. We have a partner to help revitalize this area."
That partner - Phillips Edison & Co - is a fully integrated retail real estate company which owns and manages more than 225 neighborhood and community shopping centers in 35 states. The company has headquarters in Cincinnati and Salt Lake City, as well as regional offices across the country.
Roy Williams, vice president of Phillips Edison’s Strategic Investment Fund, has met several times with DeGeeter and other Parma officials to discuss the deal for Parmatown Mall, which includes three components: (1) Parmatown Plaza, an enclosed, single-story, regional shopping mall anchored by JC Penney, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart; (2) Parmatown Strip Center, a neighborhood retail center anchored by Marc’s Grocery Store; and (3) Parmatown Medical Center, a four-story medical office building.
Said Williams: “Phillips Edison has been in the business of redeveloping retail properties for over 20 years. Parmatown represents an ideal opportunity to apply our expertise and bring this historic property to its full potential. Now that the acquisition process has been concluded, we will focus our efforts on a comprehensive strategy that will revitalize this key component of Parma’s commercial center.”
DeGeeter's vision for the area includes a "city center" type concept that encompasses the mall area and the other nearby community touch points -- Byers Field, the Day Drive corridor, the new Cuyahoga County Library behind City Hall, and Stearns Farm.
“From Day One, our administration has been committed to doing whatever is possible to aid in the redevelopment of the mall and Day Drive corridor,” the mayor said. “The bottom line is quality of life for Parma residents. With the building of a new library under way, and with City Hall and Byers Field nearby, the redevelopment of this area is an important piece of the puzzle for Parma’s future. I am thrilled with the progress this acquisition represents.
"We're excited to work with such a reputable company that has a track record of success," he continued. "This is a substantial investment, and means so much for Parma, in terms of vitality, economic development, tax base and also to encourage long-time residents who have been here and have seen what the mall can mean to the city,"
Parmatown Mall is one of Northeast Ohio’s largest retail properties. The 1.18 million-square-foot, mixed-use complex is located on 83 acres. Prominently located at the corner of Ridgewood Road and Ridge Road, two of the busiest thoroughfares in Parma, the mall was built in 1955. Expanded and renovated in 1985, 2004 and 2005, the complex has been managed by a court-appoint receiver since July 2011 after the original owners defaulted on the mortgage.
DeGeeter credited hard work by that receiver and its representative, Dave Browning of CBRE Group Inc., to help spur the sale of Parmatown. "We appreciate Mr. Browning’s help and determination to see this through to a successful conclusion," DeGeeter said. “Parma is the seventh-largest city in the state, and we have a real opportunity to show what kind of city we really have here."
Communications Director for the City of Parma